Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Age Of Ultron Is Like Pizza, Even When It's Bad It's Still Pretty Good

'Reviewing' Avengers: Age of Ultron might be redundant because I'm sure anybody who is reading this already has a fair idea on if they're going to see it and what they're going to get out of it one way or another.  I've said if before but superhero movies, Marvel ones especially, are like pizza. 

You've got critics and cinephiles who say "Pizza, again? I'm sick of pizza. All we ever eat is pizza. It's all empty calories". They might occasionally enjoy a slice but at this point it had better be some high end authentic Italian, made with some real San Marzanos. 

Then you've got nerds like me who are like "Oh man, I cannot wait for the pizza to get here! I love pizza so much, did you hear this pizza's going to have extra cheese?" and people think 'oh they'll just eat any pizza', but then you give us some Pizza Hut/Man of Steel and it turns out we do have standards. We know pizza isn't the best food going but we dig it anyway 

And then you've got casual audiences, who say "Yeah pizza will do. It's easy, let's just have pizza. My kids will be happy." These people end up eating a lot of pizza.

Age of Ultron might not be that authentic Italian but it's a good slice of pizza.

Replicating the simple childhood joy of playing with all your toys at the same time, Age of Ultron always prioritises fun over logic in its action set-pieces. As much as 'leaping off the page' is a cliche, the action of these films really are pure comic book, you can practically see the splash pages. It's leave-your-brain-at-the-door stuff, except unlike many films that receive that label, this film has some regard for the people watching it. It understands its own silliness and knows when to undercut it and when to double down. All the humour is based on character interaction rather than at anybody's expense (Michael Bay take note). Heroes are shown acting genuinely heroic, actually protecting people. And amidst all the CGI smashing and sequel hooks (there are more hooks here than Rocky's meat freezer) a valiant attempt has been made to cram some degree of human interaction and character development in there. 
There are things that people won't like. In the unlikely event that this your first Marvel film you will be lost seven ways til Sunday, the continuity only getting increasingly entangled as we go on. In setting up so many subplots and sequels, its inevitable that they can't all be winners-a digression with Thor is mostly a bust. Elizabeth Olsen's Eastern-European might inexplicably shift English for a syllable or two. And there might come a point where even the most willing audience member might buckle under the weight of the enormous, 45 minute long CGI destruction that will destroy the world. But then as I say, they undercut or double down, and chances are you'll either be laughing at a joke or at the next ridiculous amazing thing to show up just in the nick of time to save the day.
Like most pizza, big, dumb, lovable Age of Ultron is best enjoyed with a few friends, some beers and a disregard that there are better things for your palate. And when everybody's eaten their slice, you find writing underneath that says more pizza is coming-who wouldn't be excited about that? 

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